267. New concrescence?

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I was on the rim of a nervous breakdown in summer 1993, inches from falling down the crater. Seven years as a milkman had left me bored beyond tolerance. The job paid the mortgage and the bills, but the huge unused portion of my intelligence was screaming for stimulation, variation, catalysis.

Numbed, withdrawn, anxious, and with no idea of how I could move on, I told my friend Andy, who practiced acupuncture. He immediately recommended chanting the Lotus Sutra, promising that it would open the pathways I needed. Four simple words: Nam Myoho Rengi Kyo. Chant them repeatedly, Andy said.

“But how does it work?”

“It just does.”

I took his advice. On the bike, to and from the dairy each morning. 15 minutes of howling at the universe with all my inner strength to please, please bring the changes I needed. It was a plunge into the pure unknown, into zones where yogis might walk on hot coals, or monks levitate. I had no idea that it was a Buddhist chant, nor any pre-conceived idea of whether it could change anything, but I was fighting a storm, seeking any port. Christ did I howl, because there was nothing to lose.

In early November 1993, my old university pal and roommate Jon Marks offered me an apprenticeship in financial journalism. I bit off his hand in eagerness. Learned how to write for business publications; got to visit a bunch of places that would otherwise have stayed unknown; found myself able to turn freelance and earn a decent amount.

Did the chanting bring that about? Or had the Gods and fates already decided? Or was Jon simply looking out for me all along? No idea: I’m just so grateful that it happened.

Flipping on the calendar 18 years, to October 2011, I was crumbling again, after telling two guys that my friendship with them was at an end. It felt like I’d wrenched out some of my insides, but I was doing all the listening while Tony and Steve talked. It was juvenile, and I had to get away.

Maureen’s friend Jean recommended meditating with a Hanmi Buddhist group in Chelmsford that embraced healing as one of its core functions.

I’ve mentioned it in blogs before. But to repeat – wow! Within weeks, all sorts of new stuff was blossoming, in ways that seemed to defy the laws of science. Happiness, energy, enchantment, and a burgeoning desire to begin to know more of the ancient wisdoms. At the heart of it all was the repeated chanting of various mantras, combined with visualisation.

Eventually I moved away, to do my own thing, while carrying on the meditations and chanting. I re-engaged with a whole set of lost friends from Southend-on-Sea, which almost made me die of happiness. Then, when Maggie Thatcher passed away in April 2013, ‘Out of Essex’ began to pour out of me, unplanned and spontaneously. Set in Southend. Where else?

Did the Buddhist practice prise open that soaring Essex synchronicity? Who knows? 8 years on, my appreciation and gratitude for that time remains fully intact.

And now a new page is perhaps being turned. Two days ago, my friend Jenny Lynne got in touch to say that she was starting a networked meditation, based around a 10-minute chanting of the Lotus Sutra. Seeking to create peace, calm, care and compassion in the wider world, and wisdom and centredness in the group, which operates through small cells.

Jenny is a therapist, a Buddhist of 38 years and a good human being. In Great Dunmow, a small Essex town near Stansted Airport, she masterminds ‘Get Diggin It’, a community-based venture to grow food locally. Jenny talks to me every now and again about a range of subjects, including what might happen if a significant percentage of mainstream journalists decided to place truth and authenticity before income, and ceased spoon feeding nonsensical narratives to over-trusting populaces. She has also been the UK coordinator for the Ubuntu movement, founded in South Africa with a view to gradually eliminating money through self-sustaining community.

She has decided to act, not by the easy, lazy route of condemning the wider world but by pushing for a new and better direction.

I’ve taken part in two of the group meditations, yesterday and this morning. No miracles, but they felt good, with a palpable sense of connection. I’m happy to see what happens. Does positive thought affect DNA? Does human emotion change matter, and thus the wider world?

I’ve moaned before about the lack of concrescence in my life. How I crave membership of a group that revolves around fellowship and kindness. Maybe this is it.

If anyone wants to join in, you could do so quietly, or tell me, or go directly to Jenny. She speaks about her aims in a video released today, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7kdM1ku7r8&feature=youtu.be

It won’t be for everybody. For me, it’s fascinating.

Here is what I love, as an observer of patterns. Just hours after Jenny announced her group initiative, I was cycling into town, to get new tyres for my bike. On the way in, who should I see cycling the other way but Eleanor, the wife of ex-friend Tony. On the way back home, there she was again, passing me at around the journey’s mid-point.

After 63 years, it is possible to sort out signals from white noise. Seeing Eleanor was such an obvious sign. It made me think of allegories, or of Whitley Strieber seeing an owl. Something where the universe gives you a nudge, to say, ‘there you go, all’s well, we’ve got a new path for you’.

 

 

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10 thoughts on “267. New concrescence?

  1. That’s absolutely fascinating mate, wish I knew where to start because I’m very interested, genuinely. I’m stuck in a place I don’t like, it’s difficult to explain because I don’t understand it. Guess I need some sort of help because I’m deeply unhappy with life at the moment.
    Fascinating read Kev.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly John, all I did was to chant those 4 words back in 1993. Couldn’t imagine how anything would come of it, but my mate was so confident that a good outcome would arrive that I took him at his word. I was desperate enough to try anything. Maybe it was just luck/fate that things worked out well……If you were interested, there’s probably a gazillion videos on YouTube offering guidance on the Lotus Sutra..
      Hope things work out well for you. You seem to know your own mind, which is some of the battle. But I know full well how being very unhappy blights every day. I tell you what, I’m going to include you in the little group I think of when doing the 8.30 a.m. exercise. 🙂 🙂

      Like

  2. Hi, Kev. I’m so glad I stumbled upon this post! Man, I think I’m at the point where the Buddhist chant might have to make an entrance in my life too. I have this on my desktop, for example: “The Universe responds to your frequency. It doesn’t recognize your personal desires, wants or needs…”
    It goes from there. You’ve probably heard of it.
    Whatever you’re “putting out” is what you get back.

    So the conundrum, the Rubiks cube, the paradox is, how is one supposed to “vibrate” with love and joy and abundance if nothing like that is apparent in your immediate life?
    Or does the naturally negative slant of human perception make us “perceive” that they’re not evident or available, but they actually are…just maybe not how we imagined?

    I’m going to try the chant for now. I’m not sure about the group only because of synchronizing time periods and not sure exactly if that would work out. Like 8:30 am your time is when I’m at work……..

    So glad I saw this!
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wish I could give you a logical answer Trace. But I just don’t know how it works….or how regularly it does.
    You are indeed tuning into a frequency. But I don’t have a clue how it works its magic.
    My advice is ……just do it. See if you enjoy it, if it feels good, and then, maybe, something might happen.
    To say anything else would be misleading. I have come to believe in its efficacy, and I supect that the language that begins to unravel what happens does not exist!🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks, Kevin! Good advice. Very, very good. I’m starting today, on my drive to work, where I usually spend my time sighing, huffing, and cursing out other drivers.

    I came back in here, actually, because I forgot to add that I hope the virus doesn’t make it into your town and hope you and yours remain well. We’re okay here so far…but I’ve already canceled an outing with friends next week due to paranoia. We’re just gonna stay home a lot and hopefully wait this thing out.

    Ciao!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This much is true Tracey. A local woman owed me some money. I included her in the meditation two days ago, with 5 other people, all of whom I visualised as happy. Last night she put a cheque through the door.
      The first case of the virus in our town was announced today. We’ll see how it progresses. No panic.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Fascinating. So interesting.
    I know what my problem is: intellectually understanding some things but not emotionally, not deep deep deep down understanding or believing. But I have nothing to lose by giving myself over to this…potential. I hope my subconscious realizes that and loosens up a little. I’m so glad you seemingly got results. It’s amazing, really.

    As for the virus…I was not expecting you to say there’s a case there already. Well, yeah, no panic. And maybe they found out before they were wandering around in public.

    No idea why I’m awake.
    Talk to you later………….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Will do, Kev. I’ve leaped into it fully, body and soul. We’ll see what transpires…….

    PS: You haven’t done more Essex lately, right? ‘Cause if you have, I missed them…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nothing for a while Stace (Blog 266). Have been busy with the Belgian job, normal work and looking after my dad. Also, the next chapter needs a huge overhaul, so I’ve been letting the thoughts swirl and settle. Then there’s the whole virus panic, which seems to be disproportionate to the reality of a bug that mainly kills some of the elderly. Am trying to keep barriers between myself and the media brainwashing.
    But glad to hear that you’re giving the lotus sutra a try.

    Liked by 1 person

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